Bout-of-Books Read-a-Thon Goals

It’s almost time! Are you ready? Do you have goals? Well, what are you waiting for? Bout-of-Books Read-a-Thon starts on October 24th – which is Monday! Because I’m hosting the first day, Amanda and I decided that instead of people using my site to link to their progress, it would much a better idea for people to post links to their goals from here. Pretty smart of us, huh? Well actually it was pretty smart of Amanda, I’m just smart for agreeing to her logic. So starting today, you can go to the Bout-Of-Books Starting Line and post a link to your own Starting Line Goals post. On Monday, the list will still be on Amanda’s page, but the sign-up form will be moved to this page along with the same list. That way you can check out everyone’s goals from Amanda’s page or mine.

As for my goals? I’m keeping them pretty realistic this time. I have to work and I have to sleep so therefore I can’t read 24/7 – even though I really wish I could. Here are the books that I have promised myself I would read:

  • Suspense by Jason Letts (226 pages)
  • The House on Hundred Hill (The Nephilim) by Jemima Valentino (118 pages)
  • Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (359 pages)
  • Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready (367 pages)
  • Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  • Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

During the last Bout-of-Books I finished 5 books. Therefore, I feel like only adding 1 more book to my list is enough of a stretch. I intentionally picked books that would keep my interest and push me toward my goal a little easier. How many will I get through this week? Well, of course I hope to read them all, but I’ll start with Suspense and The House on Hundred Hill. I promised both Jason and Jemima that I would review their books for them this week. What better way to support an independent author than to sneak their reviews in when I have a captive audience? :) Speaking of reviews, another important goal for me is to write each review as soon as I finish the book. I kept on top of it last time, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Instead of having a separate page just for my Bout-of-Books reviews, I’m giving them each their own post, but they will be designated as Bout-of-Books October Reviews.

I’ll be creating another post for my progress during the week so we can keep this one just centered around goals. Don’t want to confuse the issue. Each co-host will have a place for all participants to post their progress during the course of the week, so be sure to visit them all. Amanda has a schedule posted here.

Another goal this week (and in my opinion, the most important one) is to make sure everyone has a good time. My partner in this endeavor is also my partner in crime (no specific crime – they change all the time.) None other than the notorious, professional speed reading demon, soulswallo at Reading the Paranormal. Soulswallo and I will be your co-hosts for the first day of Bout-of-Books (she’s my official particihost – which is now an official title, by the way.) We are each providing challenges that will include prizes. (You’ll find out more about them in an upcoming post.) The only rule is that you have to be a participant to enter and win any of the challenges or giveaways – we will be checking!

So back to you. Do you have goals? Do you have a goal post? If you do and you want to share, fill in the form either here (on Monday the 24th) or at Amanda’s blog beginning today. You can keep track of everyone’s goals on the chart below. It will stay up for a while, just in case we have any late entries. Remember, this is a laid back Read-a-Thon. No pressure at all. Read at your own pace because the only pressure you are under are comes from you and your personal goals. Most of all, meet new bloggers, make new friends and have fun! ;)

By creativedeeds

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Bout-of-Books August Review

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

This is one of those books that I almost didn’t read. I made the mistake of reading a couple reviews that were less than great and decided that maybe it wasn’t worth the read. I really need to stop doing that. Somebody please remind me to stop doing that! After having a few people I trusted tell me I should read it, I decided to give it a try. Boy am I glad that I did.

Hush, Hush is the first angel story I’ve read, and I now have a new paranormal love. Nora is a great female lead. She is smart, strong and her own person. She calls her life before she met Patch “normal” but it really wasn’t. She barely saw her mother, she had lost her father violently and she was still recovering. Her feelings and confusion over Patch just added to the mix. Patch was the perfect mysterious hero/bad guy. Through most of the story you are as lost as Nora when it comes to Patch’s intentions. The only aspect of the story I didn’t like was Nora’s friendship with Vee. I guess opposites attract even as far as friendships go, but I just found Vee annoying and Nora too forgiving. Just my opinion.

I love the concept of fallen angels that Becca has written. Who wouldn’t want a guardian angel of their very own? Patch’s fall also makes him more human, vulnerable and lovable. Every good guy has to have a bad streak right? I can’t wait to read Crescendo and lucky me won a copy this weekend! Actually I won Hush, Hush and Crescendo so I get to give one of my copies away so someone else can get lost in Nora and Patch’s story. :)

Covet by J.R. Ward – Bout-of-Books August Review

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

Okay, I’ll admit this from the start. I am totally in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I was a little leery of starting the Fallen Angel series because I didn’t think it could compare and I had read mixed reviews. Of course, I almost didn’t read Dark Lover because of mixed reviews. (See, there goes that reading reviews and almost missing a good thing again – really, someone needs to remind me of this on a daily basis it seems.) Honestly I think that I have finally learned my lesson.

The first advice I would like to give to anyone who wants to read this series is to start with the Black Dagger series. Trust me, it’s great advice. There are cross over characters in this book along with references to characters and locations that bring you into the story a lot faster than if you started with this series fresh. The main female character, Marie-Terese, is a minor character in the BDB series. There are also some other characters mentioned or seen, namely Rhev, Tres and even Phury. It’s not essential that you know who these characters are, but it’s kind of fun to see who is going to pop into the story next. It just makes it more familiar that way.

It’s evident that these books are going to deal with a lot more supernatural elements than the BDB books. Not that vampires and lessers aren’t supernatural, but once you read Covet, you’ll totally understand. The bad guys in this book were really, really bad and the good guys had a tough, not so nice edge to them as well. They are definitely not what you expect when you think “angel,” fallen or not. Plus, there was a lot of comedic banter going on between a lot of the characters that added enough levity to the bad stuff that you weren’t totally crushed by it.

I have Crave ready and waiting. I know that once the angels leave Caldwell that my BDB boys will be left behind as well. That’s okay though because now I’m committed enough to Jim and his side kicks to want to follow them for a while on their own.

Soulless by Gail Carriger – Bout-of-Books August Review

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as “a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” At the center of Soulless’s “parasol protectorate” is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

Okay, this book was fun. There is no other description for it. I love anything paranormal. I’m not picky. I’ll take werewolves, vampires, you name it. There’s just something about the mystery and mythology of these characters that makes me want to know more. Soulless had all that and more. There were vampires, werewolves, ghosts and Alexia who was born without a soul. There was also just enough romance, mystery and comedy to keep everyone happy.

I will admit that in the beginning I wasn’t sure if I could keep up. Gail has a tendency to jump from one point of view right into another without a break. It was a little distracting at first, but once I started getting into the story I wouldn’t have cared if she jumped into 3 points of view in one paragraph. I just couldn’t get enough of Alexia and the rest of the cast of characters.

There aren’t many books that make me laugh out loud, but Soulless was one of them. The romance between Alexia and Lord Macoon was simply adorable and unexpected from both characters point of view. Literally, everyone in the book saw it coming except for them, I’m not giving anything away. :) I will definitely be reading the rest of this series in the near future. If you want a paranormal story with a touch of witty humor this series is perfect. I can’t wait to see where Gail takes Alexia in the next installment.

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli – Bout-of-Books August Review

Hers is the most famous portrait in the world. Here, in prose as rich as the high Renaissance, is Mona Lisa’s tale – a story of passion, intrigue, loss, and, most of all, love. Elisabetta longs for romance, though she thinks she is too plain. Then, on a fateful visit to glittering Florence, she catches the eye of the great Leonardo da Vinci, and falls for a boy named Giuliano de  Medici. It is a dangerous time to be or be involved with a Medici. As tragedy and chaos threaten their happiness, Elisabetta faces the bittersweet truth of love.

I stole this one for the first Bout-of-Books off my daughter’s shelf. She really is an avid reader, but if a book doesn’t get her attention by the end of the first chapter, the author has lost all hope of getting her to read any further. I am a much more patient reader. Not that this book required that, but I can see how many teens reading it would probably become disinterested for the same reason that the book captivated me.

The Smile is a work of historical fiction and the premise is wonderful. Who hasn’t looked at Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and wondered what wonderful story is behind the mysterious painting? The tale that Napoli weaves is more than you could imagine. Elisabetta lives a sheltered life, but not pampered. She has spunk, she has wit, she is smart and she is strong. She also lives in a time when all of that means nothing if you are born a woman.

The tragic love story gives you a perspective on this time period that draws you in and makes you feel compassion, not only for Elisabetta, but for all the characters who are a victim of time and circumstance. The Smile is a book that I am glad that I took the time to read. Historical fiction isn’t my normal genre, but it’s fun to go places that you don’t normally travel, especially with books

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Bout-of-Books August Review

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Okay, I’ll admit it. When I started looking for books for the first Bout-of-Books Read-a-Thon, I picked books that I had heard a lot about and I knew would keep my interest. When you are trying to stay committed to reading one book a day, you kinda have to, at least I do. That being said, going into this book I was pretty sure I was going to like it. I wasn’t disappointed.

The Hunger Games is a YA dystopian novel set in a very different North America. One that I hope we never experience. Suzanne draws you into the world that 16 year old Katniss lives in and never makes you question that this world exists. You know you are in trouble in a novel when you get emotionally involved (and yes, teary) within the first few chapters. Once you get to that point, there’s no turning back. You have to keep going and find out how they will survive in what seems like a hopeless situation.

In order to not give anything away, I’m not going to say much more. There was so much about this book that I want to talk about that I know if I keep going I’m going to spoil something for someone. I went into this book only knowing that it was good and people told me I would enjoy it. I will give you one piece of info that I wish someone would have told me before I started. Do not read this book without having access to Catching Fire. I will have to wait awhile before I get the sequel and it is going to drive me nuts. Trust me, you will thank me later. :)